The Witless Clunkery of a Third-Rate Mind

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Beppu and APU

Hi everyone! I have settled into my new place here in Beppu City, Oita. Beppu seems to be a wonderful place so far. It's the most famous hot spring resort in Japan, and has somewhere around 100 hot springs; some of these are traditional springs (bathing in hot water); others are boiling mud pools that are interesting for sight-seeing; others are basically just steam vents; there are also special places where you can get buried up to the neck in hot sand. Everywhere you look, you can see plumes of steam rising naturally out of the side of the mountain. The city itself has a population of about 150,000 people but it feels a bit larger, actually, because of all the tourist facilities. My apartment is very nice and new, and is extremely close to a beautiful tree- and flower-filled park, and has a great view of spectacular mountains.

Asia Pacific University (APU) is a very well-regarded university and is kind of unique in Japan because of its international character. Every day, I see students from all over the world and hear tons of different languages being spoken on campus. It's nice not to have people stare at me because I'm "the foreigner" but at the same time, I miss that uniqueness I used to have! Oh well. The university is built on top of the mountain, so I can look down and see the town and the ocean, as well as the beautiful mountains off in the distance. It's quite breathtaking.

The facilities here are really new and high-tech, and our office is great. Very spacious. The other teachers are really cool to work with, too. So, all in all, I think this is the best teaching assignment I've ever had! (Now, I haven't met the students yet, so give me time to revise that statement if necessary!) But I am really excited about the next 4 months or so.

I'll post some pictures when I get a chance. Until then, you can see APU's webpage here. Stay in touch!